I happened to pick up Lonergan’s Verbum articles the other day, which caused me to think back to my early undergraduate days. I was a brash young Seventh-Day-Adventist soon to be entangled in the coils of popery, and was just getting into philosophy. And yes, I was a die-hard Thomist. The first book of philosophy I read was that James F. Anderson anthology of Thomistic metaphysics (of which I now possess an autographed copy). This was followed by Aristotle’s Categories, then Thomas’s commentary on Aristotle’s Physics, followed by a simultaneous read of Maritain’s Degrees of Knowledge and Lonergan’s Insight.
As I’ve been reading Scotus on matters Trinitarian of late, I decided to flip through Lonergan’s Verbum articles, and see if he had any opinions on say, the formal distinction. In the process I came across a rather startling phrase. Now, those that know me know that I have a knack for picking out shocking phrases at random (indeed, even my girlfriend now knows this feature of mine, after I skimmed through a lengthy bio of Cranmer over the weekend); but this was not one of those times. Scotus had a rather large entry in the index. So here is the quote:
“Kant, whose critique was not of the pure reason but of the human mind as conceived by Scotus, repeatedly affirmed that our intellects are purely discursive, that all intuition is sensible (p. 39-40 CW 2).”
Obviously its the first part of the sentence that’s the shocker, but seemed fairer to include the second. Lonergan goes on in a lengthy footnote to show Scotus’s mechanical view of cognition, rejection of “insight” into the phantasm, a “nexus” of concepts (or may just a concept; I can’t tell what the subject of Lonergan’s sentence is here) not being accidents in the intellect, and so on. Most of this doesn’t really matter, as Lonergan references a long series of passages from the spurious De modis significandi (known to be by Thomas of Erfurt but maybe word never got around; it fooled Heidegger as well), and after all, Scotist scholarship was in its infancy at the time and Scotus wasn’t the primary object of his book. It is an interesting area for research; Boulnois has a book with a promising title, but he seemed more concerned at the end (the part I read) to show how the 13th century shifted into onto-theology which runs through Leibniz and into Kant. But he didn't seem to make the further claims of say Marion or "RO" that onto-thelogy=modernity=bad. Also, Kant probably never read Scotus; Boulnois suggests that it was Suarez's metaphysical disputations that mediated scholastic thought to the early moderns.